As for Sarai, you shall call her Sarah, which means ‘Princess’ I will bless her and she shall be a mother of many nations. Many kings and countries shall come from her.” (Genesis 17: 15-16) Abraham could not comprehend this revelation he was almost 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when she gave birth to Isaac their son.
Sarah was not a young woman when God told Abraham to leave their homeland and journey into unknown territory. Leaving behind everything that’s familiar is not an easy road to travel. I for one can vouch for that. Yet Sarah followed her husband trusting that God would provide for them along the way. When they arrived in the land of Canaan, the land which God promised Abraham, would be loaded with blessings, there turned out to be a severe famine going on in the land, Sarah must have been devastated.
But God in His faithfulness didn’t allow Abraham and his caravan to suffer through the famine, instead he told Abraham to go to Egypt, where there was good soil that produced fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables. God will always provide for His people in the midst of every storm, by Faith Abraham remained obedient, and Sarah in reverence of her husband followed him as he followed God.
Why would Abraham, a man, that trusted God fear for his life among the Egyptian people and what made Sarah go along with his decision to lie and say that she was his sister? Some may say that Sarah did the right thing because she was obedient unto her husband. Others would conclude that she had an obligation to tell the truth because God requires the truth. I prefer to look at it this way. Surely Sarah could have refused Abraham but because she decided to do as he asked of her, her faithfulness towards Abraham, in reverencing her husband, God would intervene on her behalf.
Abraham had convinced the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister. Sarah was moved into Pharaoh’s Harem waiting to become his wife. Abraham had to be grief stricken. His lie was about to cost him his beautiful Sarah, but again, God step in striking Pharaoh and his entire household with diseases. Pharaoh called for Abraham to explain what he had done, once Abraham told the truth that Sarah was his wife and not his sister, Pharaoh had them leave Egypt taking with them all the riches they had gained.
It had been years and Sarah still had not conceived the child in which God promised she would. So like many of us, have done at one time or another, Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands. It was not unusual in Sarah’s days for a wife to offer her husband her maid servant to sleep with, so Sarah goes to Abraham and offers him her Egyptian maid, Hagar, to be the surrogate mother of their promised child.
When Sarah found out Hagar was pregnant I am sure she was overwhelmed with joy. I can see her preparing the way for the child she so desperately desired. So when Ishmael was born it must have broken her heart as his birth only brought about discord between her and Hagar. The spirit of jealousy, anxiety, and doubt now occupied Sarah’s life. Because she thought God was moving to slow or slack in his promise to her, Sarah’s attempt to Help God keep His promise to her made her life miserable.
God is never slack when it comes to his promises to us. “For God is not a man that He should lie.” (Numbers 23:19). A few years after the birth of Ishmael, God once again appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent.
“Where is your wife Sarah?’
“There in the tent, “Abraham replied.
Then the Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Sarah, was inside of the tent at the time eavesdropping, laughing she said, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Gen. 18:12).
God heard Sarah laugh and said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” (Gen. 18:13, 14)
Sarah must have been afraid when she realized God heard her laugh from inside the tent. So she replied, “I did not laugh.”
But God knows everything and he knew that Sarah did laugh, “Yes, Sarah, you did laugh.”
It had been one year and just as God promised, Sarah gave birth to a son named Isaac, which means “Laughter.” “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me” (Gen. 21:6). Sarah was blessed with the promise of a son, what had once been doubt in her heart was now joy. Sarah also prophesied that everyone would laugh when they heard that a 90 year old woman gave birth, I know that for me when I first heard this story I laughed.